Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review

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Reviews of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Deluxe Disney resort and likely the closest thing to a true African journey without crossing the ocean. The resort has its own savannahs and guests staying in a savannah view room can literally view the animals from their balconies. Guests choosing to not stay on the savannah, or just visiting the resort also get the opportunity to experience the African wilderness in the many areas set aside for viewing. The lobby houses a great number of African artifacts, the restaurants offer their own interpretations of African cuisine and even the gift shop offers a variety of unique African treasures.

Visit The Mouse for Less Animal Kingdom Resort Information Guide

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5 Replies to “Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review”

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    Date Of Stay: March 1-4, 2010

    Rate Paid During Your Stay: I’m not sure, because my husband dealt with that, but I know it was expensive.

    Room Sleeps: Our room had two double beds, and in theory 4 people could sleep in it, but it would be really crowded. My husband and I were very comfortable though.

    Room Size: Small for the price we paid, but more than adequate.

    Amenities: The room had everything we could need, and my only complaint is that the linens weren’t up to deluxe standards and for a hotel that expensive, you’d expect bathrobes.

    Transportation: Only downgrading because with the exception of AK, it’s a long ride to the other parks; but buses ran regularly, were efficient, and the drivers were all nice.

    Value: That’s a hard one….it’s expensive, the rooms are small for what you pay, and it’s a long way from most of the parks, but you get to be in a lodge that’s beyond gorgeous, have GREAT service from the wonderful staff, and have a Savannah full of animals to look at every day.

    Don’t Miss: Talking to the CMs from African countries, the animals, of course, and having meals at Boma and Jiko. The pool looked great, but it was too cold for us to swim. The hot tub looked nice, and was secluded, but we didn’t use it. Get up at sunrise at least once to see the sun rising over the savannah if you’re facing the center. Bring binoculars to see more animals. Explore all the savannahs and sit on your balcony at night in the dark and just listen to the sounds. We were there during cold and windy weather, but it was so cool to listen to the wind blowing through the palm trees.

    Room Location Suggestion: we were in 3237, same floor as the lobby; second building to the left as you face the Arusha savannah. It was a great location. Not far from anything, but away from the hubbub of the lobby, and facing the center savannah, which I loved.

    The Mouse For Less Tip: This resort is very close to Animal Kingdom (about a 5-minute bus ride). This was my first time staying on Disney property, so this may be the norm at all the resorts, but there were a lot of cool things going on at the lodge all day long and into the evening. Many great activities for kids. There was a refrigerator in the room too. That may be the norm in Disney resorts, but it was a pleasant surprise to me.

    Comments: This is a deluxe resort, so it’s very expensive, and was a splurge for us. I had dreamed about staying here since I first visited it in 2001 when we had dinner at Boma. Some complain that it’s very dark, and I guess it is in the afternoon, but the lobby is very bright in the morning when the sun shines in over the savannah, and is softly lit at night, making it beautiful. The lighting, the decorations and beautiful furniture, and the smell of the restaurants and the fire burning give the lobby a soft, warm, and homey feel. We brought wine with us, and one evening sat on our balcony drinking it, which was wonderful, and then other nights, I’d sit out there in the dark and just listen to the sound of the wind in the palm trees. If you could ignore the faraway hum of the highways, and just focus on the sounds at the lodge, it was surprisingly quiet. Some have complained about the restaurants, because the counter-service place, Mara, is the only one open all day. I do wish Boma started the buffet at lunchtime, but other than that, I had no complaints about food. My husband went to Mara for a regular breakfast a couple of times, but I’m not really a breakfast person, so I just had yogurt and the granola bars that I’d packed along. We ate dinner one night at Jiko, and it was fabulous, as was our server, Michelle.

    Overall, I LOVED our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. There is something about the ambiance that was just out of this world. I felt so at home, and was so sad to leave. Whenever you arrived at AKL, the CMs would say “Welcome home” and that is my overall remembrance of the stay—just a feeling of home, and warmth, and good smells. I don’t know if we’ll ever get back there, because we’d like to try the other Disney resorts, and I bet they all have their charms, but right now, I’m a big AKL fan.

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    • Not Rated

    Date Of Stay: Jan 28, 2010-Feb 1, 2010

    Rate Paid During Your Stay: We stayed on DVC points or $465.00 per day Value season

    Room Sleeps: One Bedroom villa: One king bed in bedroom, One queen sleeper sofa and Single sleeper chair in living room.

    Theming: 10 Everything was delightfully themed-curtains,bathroom tiles and wood furniture.

    Room Size: Our villa size was perfect for the three of us. The extra bathroom was an extra plus.

    Amenities: Having a full kitchen was nice although I didn’t use the stove or oven only used the frig. Having a washer/dryer was very convenient.

    Quality: Every thing was in good condition and nothing was worn.

    Cleanliness: There were little handprints on the balcony doors at the bottom.

    Recreation: It was coolish when we were there. Son used the pool it was fine. The water play area looked fun for the little ones. Hot tub looked inviting.

    Value: If I weren’t a DVC member I wouldn’t have been able to afford this place. But it was amazing!

    Don’t Miss:
    Room Location Suggestion: We had a standard room-ours looked over the pool area, if you want to see the animals get a savannah room. Plus I asked to near the lobby which we got.

    The Mouse For Less Tip: If you have a car, you’ll love the underground parking-no more hot cars in the sun in Florida. Find the community room and do some arts and crafts or play foosball or pool or play a game on the computers. There are cultural representatives that tell their story and of Africa. Lots to see and do–seek them out and read the daily activities sheet for both Kidani Village and Jambo House.

    Comments: This was our first stay at our home resort and it lived up to our expectations. Loved seeing the different animals and hearing stories of Africa, the artifacts are amazing.We are coming back in August with our granddaughter she will love it! We are counting the days until then.

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    Date Of Stay: 8/29/09 – 9/6/09

    Don’t Miss: Night vision goggles for the sunrise.

    Room Location Suggestion: After I booked this, I realized that I would want to be close by to a laundry facility since we were staying in a studio and would not have a washer or dryer in the room. So I requested a room close the laundry, and not too far from a smoking location. We were just a few rooms down from the laundry room, which was great, so I did not have to lug the bag to far, although there are only two washers and four dryers. So this meant some waiting for one to become available. We are staying at Kidani in February of 2010 and I hope the laundry facilities are larger over there. May put in a similar request. We had animals outside our room at all hours of the day and it varied which was nice. We saw giraffes quite a few times and they often who nap at night not too far from our room and the last night there was one pretty much right next to our room sleeping. DD really enjoyed having the animals outside the room, and I would not hesitate to get a room with this view again if I had the points. It was nice to have the animals outside the room for me as well on the mornings that DD did not want to get out of bed. Gave me something to do besides watch tv. Unfortunately the best photos I took of the savanna were also the ones that some how never made it on to my computer :o(

    The Mouse For Less Tip: To save money, I would either stay at this resort with your own DVC points or rent them from another member, even if it meant passing up free dining, the money you would save on the room would outweigh and savings of the dining plan. Also, staying on points, it was not that many more points for the savanna and to me it was worth the extra points, because even when there were only a few animals on the savanna the view of the savanna itself is amazing.

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    • Not Rated
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    Date Of Stay: October 19th – 26th, 2008

    Rate Paid During Your Stay: 89.00 a night I believe.

    Room Sleeps: 4

    Don’t Miss: EVERYTHING- but on the back side of the pool one afternoon we found Flamingo’s being feed and the caregiver was very knowlegable about them and what they eat, something fun I just happened to run into while walking around the pool area.

    Room Location Suggestion: Well a Savanna room for sure, otherwise I would have to say its just not worth it to spend the money to stay in a Value room, I would hate to spend so much money to look at the parking lot when you know there are such wonderful views of the animals.

    With that said your room location can be a hike. what seemed like a 5 minute walk just from the lobby to our room and then add that on just to get something from the counter service, that unless has another magical way in, you have to go down the stairs outside and all the way around to get to. however I just didnt mind!!

    The Mouse For Less Tip: There is so much to see, I would like to add that my kids were dissappointed that they didnt not server scoopable Ice cream like they do at POR RS & FQ. This may be because you can get banana splits and the like from the room service menu. They do however have wrapped ice cream like mickey ears and bars.

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    • Not Rated
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    Date Of Stay: 06/06/08 – 06/11/08

    Rate Paid During Your Stay: $179.00/night with Annual Passholder Discount.

    Room Sleeps: 4

    Don’t Miss: The artifacts on every floor of the hotel.

    Room Location Suggestion: We stayed in a room that took us approximately 8 minutes to reach from the lobby of the hotel. Although seeing the animals outside our door every day was great, the walk to and from the room was horrible.

    The Mouse For Less Tip: When staying at AKL, ask for a room close to the front of the hotel. You can always walk the different floors and see many animals through the large windows along the way if you choose to.

    Comments: Although AKL was a nice hotel and my daughter was thrilled to see giraffes every time we were in the room, we would not stay there again. It’s too far from the parks (even when renting a car) and the hotel is very spread out. We also didn’t find the pool area to be big enough for the amount of guests at the hotel.

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